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pontoontodd last won the day on December 31 2018

pontoontodd had the most liked content!

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About pontoontodd

  • Rank
    Certified Subaru Nut

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Loves Park, IL
  • Referral
    search engine, lifted subarus and other mods
  • Biography
    Mechanical engineer, off road racer, trail ride and pre run with Subarus.
  • Vehicles
    1999 Legacy Outback, 1996 Impreza

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  1. So the directional HVAC control on my black Outback has given me all kinds of problems. This is just the pushbuttons to control where the air comes out, everything else always works fine. Unfortunately there isn't any easy mechanical substitution. I replaced it once a few years ago and it's been working pretty well until late last year when it started working intermittently. I got another one from slamma, it also doesn't seem to work, the button for vent sticks down sometimes too. He is sending me another one to try. Probably not related but the lighting to it rarely works. I have read that you can take it apart and clean the contacts but I tried that on another one and just wound up with a thousand little pieces of plastic. It's possible the door actuator or wiring to it has failed but that is very hard to get to, there is all kinds of extra wiring and the TCU in the way. I tried pushing on the lever while pushing the control buttons and it doesn't flinch at all. I can't find anything in the factory service manual: http://jdmfsm.info/Auto/Japan/Subaru/Legacy_Outback/1999/Service Manual/ But there is a chart in the Haynes manual showing continuity between pins. The continuity of both control units I have seems the same but doesn't match their diagram at all. I'm attaching a picture of their diagram with what I found written on it in pen. It doesn't look like the numbers are just backwards or otherwise switched around but this is where maybe one of you guys will see something I can't. What's also strange is that with just that connector plugged in, the recirc button on both controls makes the recirc door open and close but I don't see any change in continuity between any pins on either when I push the button up or down???
  2. Does anyone have a pinout or troubleshooting instructions for the heat/AC control of a 99 Outback? Mine has the same number and pattern of pins shown in the Haynes manual but the continuity doesn't match their chart at all. Continuity across some changes if I hit different buttons. Can't find anything in the FSM. I do have another one or two that might also be bad, I'll check those next.
  3. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    The head gaskets can cause overheating because combustion gases leak into your coolant system which pushes the coolant out. You need to check the coolant level in the radiator occasionally not just the overflow bottle. Check that both fans are running fast when the car gets hot. Look in between the condenser and radiator. You should be able to shine a flashlight from the back and clearly see through all the fins. I doubt your overheating is related to the transmission.
  4. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    I wouldn't worry about the head gaskets. If it's just leaking oil out of the engine, as long as you keep it full that's not really a problem. I was thinking you had an internal head gasket leak where the cylinder pressure will push your coolant out, but if that was the case it would probably overheat during normal driving and you'd have to add coolant, so it sounds like you're good there. Make sure both fans are running on high when you stop and it's hot (I think they turn on above 200F and turn off below 190F). Also check for blockage between the radiator and condenser. First thing I'd do would be remove the top radiator mounting screws (at least one of yours will probably break) and push the radiator back and take a look. If it looks bad, drain the coolant, pull the radiator and clean it well. If it's not going to be below freezing for the rest of the summer, just use filtered water for now when you refill the coolant.
  5. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    Ya, definitely check between condenser and radiator, that can get full of mud and debris and it's hard to see.
  6. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    Sounds like head gaskets. Does it overheat when driving on normal roads? What is the ambient temp when it's overheating? Can you bring the temps back down by running the heater? After it cools down, can you add coolant to the radiator or is it full? If it's convenient, watch the coolant temp from the ECU. The gauge uses a different sensor wire and it basically sits in the middle from about 140F-190F. When it starts to run hot, pull over and leave the engine running. The radiator fans should both be on. They should be blowing fast too, there are two sets of windings and both need power for them to run at full speed. It's possible you have a blown fuse or bad relay. The next thing to check while it's hot and idling is to pop the cap on the overflow bottle and look for little bubbles coming up from the overflow tube. If there are bubbles it's almost definitely head gaskets. You can also get a head gasket leak checking kit. There are probably a thousand forum threads about Subaru head gaskets.
  7. The radiator on my 96 Impreza was leaking, the condenser had rubbed a hole through one of the tubes. One of the mounting posts had broken off too so I got a new one. It's 1.5 pounds lighter than the old one, I think just from some dirt and coolant still in/on the old one. Replacement was pretty easy, padded and clearanced a few things a little better than before. Drove it around town a bit yesterday and seems good. Finally fixed the oil cooler on the 99 Outback this morning. I got the longer oil cooler bolts made: Last week I drilled and tapped the block deeper and noticed this hole: That goes to the outside of the engine. Also that spot below the threads seemed to have a slight crack/leak/porosity. So I JB welded both inside and out: Not pretty but functional. Did it in a few layers. On the plus side it sat for a week until I had time today to put it back together and test it. This is what it looks like with the new bolt. Took about four quarts to fill it back up with oil (including adding a little after running) so I think there were still a couple quarts in the pan when I shut it off. Fired it up for a minute and didn't see any leaks. After a couple seconds the oil pressure light went off, never made any noise. I need to remake the skidplate on that side with more clearance and a little stronger. Also plan on making a fairly solid pitch stopper.
  8. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    You seem obsessed with wheel articulation, get rid of your sway bars, I didn't realize you still had them. If you put the car on stands or a lift it should drive all four wheels. If you can put it on a lift that might be a good way to figure out where the noise is coming from - rear diff, wheel bearing, CV, etc.
  9. Forester has been popping out of fifth gear when he gets on and off the gas. Fifth gear was worn when I put the trans together but less worn than the other fifth gear I had lying around. It has also been making a buzzing noise often when shifting high to low with the synchros we made so I wanted to look at that. His water pump had started leaking too so he ordered parts to fix both. If we were just doing the water pump we would have just done it in the car. He drove it here Saturday. We took the engine and trans out and took the trans off the engine and I started taking it apart. Figured having two people working on the trans doesn't help much and it's not much more work to take out engine and trans together, makes it easier to do the water pump. He was working on the timing set and water pump. There was a clearly used tensioner in the timing kit with a blown out damper so he used a good old one. Fifth gear was definitely worn and the nut on the input shaft was loose, I may not have staked it enough. It was a slightly taller ratio than what was in the transmission so I replaced both fifth gears. The synchro for high range was smashed again, not as badly as the stock one had been. I spent a lot of time chiseling globs of melted brass off the input shaft. Then I put it in the lathe to sand it smooth and the rest came off instantly. I noticed this time there was a gap between the input shaft and the big bearing it presses into so I pressed that back in. We figured whatever caused that must be smashing the high range synchro. Then I removed the big snapring and pulled the bearing out of the input shaft housing. There is a washer and a snapring that is supposed to hold the shaft from pushing back in the bearing. The snapring was there but had slid out of the groove. The groove is shallow and the snapring didn't have much tension on it so I bent it closed and put it in the groove. After doing that I put the transmission together with no washers under the input shaft housing and it still spun freely with a little endplay on the synchro. I'm wondering if that was the problem all along. I did test fit the input shaft with one half of the case on the engine with flywheel and clutch and there is room to slide the input shaft so it's not the pilot bearing or something pushing on the input shaft. My friend pointed out with the helical cut on the input shaft gear it tries to pull into the trans under load so maybe that's what pulls it in. We put the engine and trans back in the car and hooked everything back up. Took about ten hours total. Then the engine wouldn't start, solenoid just clicked. He had sanded the ends of the battery cables while I was working on the trans but we double checked those and tried a different battery with no success. We pull started the car and he drove it around the block, high, low, and first-fifth all worked fine, no popping out of fifth gear, no leaks. So he just drove it home without shutting it off. He put an Outback starter in and it worked fine.
  10. Unless you used really large bolts I'd probably bend them on rocks. The upper link would probably be OK. Maybe with big rod ends / heim joints and misalignment spacers that would be a good way to be able to adjust your alignment and have better articulation than the stock bushings. It would be a lot more expensive though, the stock bushings are about $10 each, I'd want to use at least 3/4" rod ends and those are $20+ each and you'd need a dozen of them. I also think the ride would be a little harsher and they'd get sloppy. My other thought was if you make them the right length and nothing gets significantly bent there's no need to adjust them.
  11. I don't know how long the bushings will last. If they don't last long or I want to get more travel I'll probably have to switch to ball joints. Yes, you can run it through the full travel but it takes some force at the extremes. Yes, we made the links, that was the cheap and easy part. I really think longer links would be the best solution but you might wind up making a new subframe to mount them. You could also "tub" the body (build bigger wheel wells) but the bottom of the wheel is already even with the bottom of the body at full compression. I keep thinking about making some longer CV axle shafts and longer arms/links for more travel in general. I think 15-18" of travel would be another big step forward. Longer axles and arms would start to get more expensive and less bolt on. One good thing with our setup now is that spare stock axles and struts work for the long travel cars or cars with stock suspension. One big problem widening the suspension would be that the tires go up inside the rear wheel wells now, that would take a significant amount of bodywork to still allow full travel and cover the tires if they were out a few inches farther.
  12. Some of the shock parts including the longer bodies and shafts. Pictures of the longer shocks installed on the 2002 as requested. I should have gotten some pictures of one of these shocks compared to a stock one but I was in a hurry. Reservoirs are just zip tied in place temporarily so they don't bounce around. I'll mount them more securely. Right now it's a complicated procedure to install these. Hard to explain why without seeing it but the spring collars have to be threaded down, shocks have to go in reservoir first from the bottom, collars threaded up, shocks charged, springs installed, and then bolt the shocks in. I'm already planning on making new brackets to mount the tops of the shocks so I can just slide them down through the floor with the springs on.
  13. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    What Bennie said is right, you want those bushings to be as relaxed as possible at ride height, that will help your articulation and bushing life. The real limitation though is that two of the lateral links are much shorter than the CV axle so it pulls the axle into the diff at droop. The best fix would be to make different frame mounts and make those two links longer to reduce CV plunge and bushing flex/twist. I did make a set of lateral links slightly longer than stock using the stock mounts to get a little more droop before the CV bottoms out. If you make them too long the CV pulls out of the diff. You can get over almost all obstacles with more speed and momentum. I'm not saying that's a good idea with your car but it virtually always works.
  14. I'll try to remember to take a picture with the wheel off once it's all painted and assembled. Yes, we made all three lateral links a little longer than stock. They are apparently a little too long on the left side, I had to make a washer for the outer CV so it wouldn't pull the inner CV out of the diff.
  15. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    If you get two wheels in the air and stop moving forward you need more momentum. Perhaps we're losing something in translation, but aside from really tall hills momentum will get you over anything. For what you seem to want to do a Jeep sounds like your answer.